Heal the city: the composer’s night concert wins hearts


Failed with online grocery shopping again?

Bickering in the neighbors’ chat group?

Have you lost all motivation to do anything?

Can’t concentrate?

What day is it exactly…?

People in Shanghai are probably all living them right now, as is composer Luo Wei.

In the community chat group, her neighbors were constantly arguing over tedious errands. Some people, who knew that Luo was a musician, suggested that he do a concert in the clouds to calm everyone down.

Luo thought about his neighbor’s suggestion. On Monday, he finally launched a 12-hour music livestream. The 33-year-old composer intends to run his “midnight musical canteen”.

“Healing Music FM” is available daily from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. on WeChat video account 罗威的治愈小馆, and the composer plans to expand it to other platforms after experimenting and studying the feedback from the first week. .

“In times like this, we need the strength of reason and the strength of restraint,” he told the Shanghai Daily after another failed attempt to buy groceries online.

“Alternatively, ‘Healing Music FM’ can simply be background music that you listen to while reading, suffering from insomnia, anxiety or just trying to relax and forget everything.”

Composer Luo Wei, who calls Shanghai his second home, is trying to lift the spirits of local residents by broadcasting live music for 12 hours.

Luo has been locked up since March 28, his birthday! For the Guangzhou native who moved to Shanghai 15 years ago, the recent experience feels almost surreal, as it does for many others in the city. Like home, the city has always provided him with a sense of comforting familiarity and security.

He returned to Shanghai from a concert in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on a China Eastern flight on March 22, a day after one of the same airline’s planes crashed in the hills of the autonomous region. Guangxi Zhuang.

Around the same time, Shanghai was dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19.

“I was terrified and took melatonin for the first time in my life,” he said of his flight home from Chengdu. “The plane was already descending when I woke up, and I could see the outskirts of Shanghai. Despite how strange it may seem now, I felt safe at that time.”

He considered returning to his hometown of Guangzhou in southern Guangdong province to stay with his parents or traveling to Beijing for a scheduled check-in, but chose to stay.

However, work was interrupted and life became chaotic.

At first, Luo couldn’t even bring himself to listen to music, not even his own.

“I was worried for several days. I even skipped groceries in the morning after reading and watching all the depressing news. At times like these, what is depicted in the music seems so unrealistic.”

He tried to regain some semblance of sanity by doing things his own way, like arranging uncooked foods by color before cooking them.

Little by little, he returns to music. He is currently listening to “Music Gift to” by Kaori Muraji, a Japanese classical guitarist. The album includes well-known jazz pieces as well as film scores. Muraji’s “understated yet insightful style” is particularly appealing to Luo.

Luo’s style is diverse, ranging from high-energy songs like “Hero” for Tencent’s League of Legends Pro League games to romantic tracks like “Walking in the Bund.” He started a “piano diary” in 2013, and has amassed 365 tracks ranging from two to about five minutes.

Nearly 250 of these pieces are intimately linked to Shanghai, such as “Morning, Cat in Jinjiang Park”, “Riverside – I want to have a chat with this city” and “The Endless Rain in Guilin Park”.

“These romantic city tracks are a bit nostalgic… I listen to them with a certain sadness now that we can’t go out,” he said Tuesday morning, minutes after finishing his livestream.

Heal the city: the composer's night concert wins hearts

He concluded the 12-hour playlist with “Pray”, a piano concerto. It is a piece written by Luo in 2020 during the pandemic and rearranged as a concerto to “bring some warmth to the melodies and make them more suitable for Shanghai”.

“In ‘Pray’ I illustrated an image of dawn hoping to deliver something warm and grounding, to calm you down, help you relax and help you sleep well,” he said. explained, adding that a new song, written in collaboration with a band, will be released soon.

The daily live playlist consists of various selections from Luo’s 365 “piano diary” entries, to which city sounds will be added, such as rain, highway noise or birdsong. He’s also thinking about including city visuals but fears it will add a sense of melancholy.

His last diary was a piece titled “A Letter to Shanghai in the Spring”. He had Gucun Park’s pink cherry blossoms in mind while recording.

“It is not possible to visit the park now, so there is a feeling of nostalgia,” he explained, adding that the current experience has also changed what he wants to compose in the near future.

“Before, I was inspired a lot by nature, especially what I see in this city. But this time, I was touched by many people, from the owner of the convenience store who lived in the store for weeks so that she can deliver necessities to those nearby, to my neighbor who gave me oranges.In my future work, I hope to include more observations of the townspeople.

When it comes to residents, nothing is on Luo’s mind more than “meeting in person” right now.

“It’s been an emotional roller coaster. It’s so complex it’s hard to explain.

“But one thing is certain; when I chat virtually with friends now, we all want to ‘meet in person’ no matter what we do. I really want to compose more about human relationships. Through music, I want to to express my gratitude and sense of community.”

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